Uhmm... I really have nothing to say for myself except that it's been a while and I am deeply sorry. So yeah... please let this chapter make up for it and forgive the authoress? *bats eyelashes*

Also, couple more theme songs. For Blair/Blare and Megatron, one of my reviewers, King Sabre Tooth *cough whose profile pic hits ALL MY BUTTONS by the way cough* found a song on YouTube that he thought went with them. So like a good author, I investigated the link. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was on of my favorite songs, but a version I'd never heard. And the best part is...

I NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF IT. OMG DUDE YOU'RE A GENIUS.

Anyway, the song was "For Good" from the musical Wicked, but it was sung by two guys. *faint* Oh God someone catch me, I've fallen and I can't get up from the sexy.

Anyway, another song for the whole Optimus/Blair/Megatron triangle (I guess it's become a love triangle now! Or... or a love/friendship triangle? XD no sense) is "Between the Lines" by Sara Bareilles. It fits SO INSANELY well. Some choice lyrics:

'Cause I can't continue pretending to choose/These opposite sides on which we fall/The "loving you later"s, if at all...

My memory is cruel/The queen of attention to details/Defending intentions if he fails... (That last line really fits for the end of this chapter.)

Until now, he told me her name/It sounded familiar in a way/I could have sworn I'd heard him say it ten thousand times...

Too late, two choices to stay or to leave/Mine was so easy to uncover/He'd already left with the other...

I told myself all the words he surely meant to say/Talk until the conversation doesn't stay on/"Wait for me, I'm almost ready"/When he meant "Let go"...

It's such a sad song. In Blare's words, I believe she'd be talking about both of them. The first set of lyrics really does it for me, and the third one I have up there.

POP QUIZ. WHOEVER ANSWERS RIGHT - OR EVEN ANSWERS AT ALL - GETS A VIRTUAL ENERGON COOKIE. What does the third set of lyrics listed symbolize for the story? (Actually, I really don't think there are any wrong answers for this one... so let your imagination run away! You all get A pluses!)

Hope you guys enjoy this chapter, I guess the ending was kind of rushed but... :)


Blare let the thermometer slip from her mouth again, and opened her eyes to glance up at the doctor. "Ratcheeeet," she moaned. "How many times have you taken my temperature?"

"Seven," was his answer as he examined the screen from the latest attempt. He was in his holoform, as otherwise the thermometer he had to use on her was too small for him to pick up.

"And it's still normal?"

"98.6, exactly." He tossed the plastic mouth cover into the trash can. "You're predictable."

"Then why do you keep checking? I've only been here-" She glanced at the clock. "- Two hours. You take my temperature every twenty minutes. Is that really necessary?"

"Fevers can take a matter of hours or even days to fully develop," was his smartass reply, probably just to get her to shut up.

She sighed. "Look, I feel a lot better. And besides, I promised Ironhide I would clean his cannons tonight. Have you, uh, seen him? He'll be pissed off if I don't keep my word. I know it."

"Hmmph," Ratchet grunted. "Well, I suppose that would be a safe environment, don't you agree?"

She rolled her eyes. "I didn't know you guys could be sarcastic, you especially. I want to go. He wouldn't hurt me - none of you would, I'm smart enough to know that."

"Well, you're right about that. I suppose the most Ironhide could do would be to fire a blank at long range - that's just air, and if I'm correct you breathe that, don't you?"

She shook her head. "Are you gonna let me go, or am I gonna have to make a run for it?"

"Alright, get going then." He waved a hand at her. "Shoo, shoo, as it were. Have fun with Ironhide and his permanently ready-to-fire cannons. Try to remember things and not get accidentally stepped on."

"Awesome - er, and yeah, sure, I'll try not to." She sat up and carefully hopped off the berth. "Thanks, Ratchet! I'll see you later, okay?"

For once, he actually chuckled a little. "Yes, well... not too soon, hmm? Please give me at least a solar cycle before you get hurt. You can do that, yes?"

"Yes," she answered emphatically, not letting him see the fact that she rolled her eyes or he'd never let her leave. "Bye!"

Not giving him a chance to put any more of his two cents in, she made a beeline for the door and stepped out into the hangar. A few vehicles were all lined up - clearly the Autobots in recharge. She went past them, trying to pick out which one was Ironhide, though she already had a pretty good idea. The big Peterbilt semi truck; that was Optimus. The yellow Chevy Camaro with a black stripe; easy, that one was Bumblebee. The green Chevy Beat was Skids, and the red one was Mudflap. The sleek, beautiful silver Corvette Stingray was clearly their resident speed demon, Sideswipe. And then there was that big black pickup, a GMC Topkick, at the end there. She smirked; if Ironhide thought he could hide from her just by transforming into his alt mode, he was sadly mistaken.

"'Hide!" She wasn't sure how, but she knew that was his nickname. She ran over and put a hand on the passenger door. "I'm ready to clean your cannons - well, anyway, I'll be ready as soon as I get some water and a rag. So you be ready too, okay? I'll be back in, like, five minutes. I have to go back into Ratchet's office for that stuff, but I won't be long." She blinked, having expected to get a reaction by now. "Okay, be right back!"

After a quick trip back to Ratchet (who was annoyed that she was back so soon, but just grumbled and complied when he realized what she was there for), Blare came back out into the hangar to see that Ironhide had transformed - crap, and so had the twins. And it looked like Ironhide was ready to beat the scrap out of them; they were loud. And way more annoying than she'd been earlier.

"Ironhide!" she called, running over with her bucket of soapy water and rag. "Skids, Mudflap, come on - people are trying to recharge. Stop being so obnoxious and get some rest yourselves, huh?"

The twins proceeded to ignore her, though they did relocate themselves to a different corner where less noise reached the others. "There, Psycho! We ain't gonna shut up though!"

She rolled her eyes, but just came up to Ironhide. "You ready for me to clean your cannons? Looks like they could use a good rubdown."

He nodded, lowering his arm so she could climb on. "Don't fall, now. You humans are notorious for that."

She giggled. "Well, don't scare me or move too fast and I'll be fine," she countered. She looked over at Bumblebee, Sideswipe, and Optimus, not even sure if they were in recharge or just sitting there. "If anyone else wants cleaned too, I'd be happy to do it when I'm done with Ironhide." She nestled herself in a place somewhere in the vicinity of where his elbow would be if he were human, and began her work.

After a moment, she heard the noise and saw Optimus in the corner of her eye; he'd transformed too. "Want me to clean you after 'Hide?" she asked cheerfully, leaning down a bit to reach a farther part of the cannon. When he didn't reply, she thought perhaps he hadn't heard her, so she shouted his name a bit louder. "Optimus?"

He seemed to start a little, but he shook his helm. "No... that's alright."

She frowned slightly, and pushed herself back up to work on the next part of the cannon. "Are you okay? You sound tired - you should be recharging. I'm sure I can take care of 'Hide on my own."

"I'm fine. I just... can't seem to enter a recharge mode tonight."

"Got something on your mind?"

"You could say that."

"Oh. Well, sorry about that. Happens to the best of us, I guess... I remember one night when Master couldn't sleep - I woke up the next morning, and he was still walking around the base trying to enter recharge." She giggled before sliding her rag over the black armor once again. "Hey Ironhide, you said you got your scar in a battle, right? Who were you fighting?"

"A Decepticon. Must have been a Seeker - used his wing as a sword and sliced me. I didn't see it coming." He paused, then he must have decided it wouldn't be particularly intrusive to ask his question. "Where did you get yours?"

"My what?"

"That scar on your lip, on the left side. How did that happen?"

She was quiet for a moment, then sighed, stopping her work. "Master..." She felt tears in her eyes at the memory - one of the only times that Megatron had ever laid a claw on her. (Oh God, did she miss him...) Before she even told them what had transpired, she had to make sure they understood that it hadn't been on purpose; her master wasn't a bad mech, he just had a temper. "H-He didn't mean it... and I probably deserved it anyhow."

"Didn't mean what?" Ironhide growled. "If he's ever laid a fingerplate on you, I swear to Primus I'm going to-"

"Whatever it is," Optimus added, interrupting Ironhide with a low voice, "I am sure you most certainly did not deserve it, Blare."

"Not if it gave you a scar like that," Ironhide muttered, seeming to know he shouldn't say much after he'd just been interrupted.

She took a shuddery breath, then let it out. "I-I mean... it wasn't his fault, not completely. He lost his temper, that's all - everyone does, once in a while."

"What did he do to you?" Optimus demanded to know.

She shook her head, wetting her rag. "He was angry. I mean, he's always a little angry, but this time he was mad. He'd just lost a battle - to one of you, I guess. I... shouldn't have been pestering him. I was annoying and... and he picked me up." She slopped the rag against Ironhide, and sighed heavily. She hated this memory; no matter how delicate a temper her master had, he wasn't bad. "I knew he wasn't going to hurt me. He didn't even mean to do anything besides scare me straight. But his claw... got my mouth."

She rubbed a little, taking in a breath. "If it makes you think more of him, he did feel awful about it. He made Barricade drive me into town so I could shop, just to make it up to me. He really didn't mean it. Accidents happen."

Ironhide snorted, then growled. "Accident, my sine function. He's a leaking, rusty knock-off."

"He should have been more careful," she heard Optimus rumble. "If it were me, I never would have picked you up without your permission. It's a violation of your rights and is disrespectful."

Blare scowled and flicked her rag at him, splattering soap all over his faceplates. "Look, I'm sick of you talking about my master like that. I know he's your enemy, and I know he's not the best person. But doesn't everybody have one flaw? Nobody's perfect, not even Master. Not even you."

She felt him get closer, and refused to react to the sudden rush of heat beside her. She didn't even turn to look at him as he spoke. "I never claimed to be, Blare." The sound of him transforming again filled her senses, and his engines revved. "But here's a human riddle for you. You show me Megatron, and I'll show you a mech who doesn't care how many humans he harms, with negative ambitions on the processor. Disregard for life, including yours, in favor of power... that is not flawed. That's beyond saving."

There was a burst of air, and he disappeared.

She felt hot tears sting her eyes, and she pressed her rag against Ironhide's cannon. "Where did he go?"

"Nobody's ever found out where he goes," the warrior vented. "But I'll tell you one thing: you're on your way to setting a record. Less than twenty-four Earth hours, you've pissed him off twice."

"I didn't mean to make him mad," she defended. "But he wasn't seeing my point of view! I... I had to say something. I didn't know he would get upset."

"Oh, lighten up, will you, fleshy? He'll be over it by tomorrow, I know him. In the meantime, just don't worry about it. I mean, for spark's sake... upsetting him isn't easy to do. Hold your record with pride."

She closed her eyes and squeezed the rag so tightly soap seeped through her fingers. "That's not something to be proud of." She let her head fall forward onto his armor, and choked out a sob. "I should be ashamed of myself." She couldn't hold back any more tears. "Should be."


Aww, poor Blare! ... On that note, poor OPTIMUS. lol.

... I feel we should check on the Decepticons... there's no telling what havoc they're wreaking...

Eh. Maybe later.

Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading! ^^